Designed with romance in mind, Chou is an atmospheric spot for dinner, whether in the former living room of this Pinheiros house or in the covered backyard, where fairy lights dangle between trees. Inside, a vintage Provençal style pervades, with white walls, wood floors, plants and artfully arranged objets – corners piled with battered leather suitcases, and old books in the bathroom.
The menu, packed with fresh herbs, is pitched somewhere between Argentina and the Mediterranean. Start with the meze dishes to share – we loved the tender grilled squid (R$19) with aioli. The speciality, though, is succulent meat and fish served sizzling from a charcoal grill. Team it with one of the creative side dishes, like baked organic sweet potato (R$12) or mint risoni with pecans (R$14).
The service can be inattentive, so console yourself while you wait by soaking up the surroundings and one of the brilliantly imaginative drinks. All in all, a delightful dinner choice, though the rustic simplicity may lull you into a false sense of security: expect to pay upwards of R$150 per head for three courses and a drink.